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How to get permission to look at Timber frame barn #20329 06/14/09 04:52 PM
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cedar Offline OP
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How are you guys getting permission to look at these old barns?
Where I am in BC Canada people do not trust strangers. We have lots of grow-ops and gang activity in our rural areas now. I have tried approaching church denominations whise farmers has
Timber Framed farm buildings. But they have no interest in letting me have a look at their barns. Also I am religious and mentioning this to them seems to make no difference to them Does anyone have any ideas or hints to pass on?
Thanks,
Cedar.

Re: How to get permission to look at Timber frame barn [Re: cedar] #20335 06/14/09 09:16 PM
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OurBarns1 Offline
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Hi Cedar:

Good topic.

I write freelance for area newspapers/magazines. In 2007-08 I did a weekly newspaper series featuring these buildings and their people that I called "Our Barns." I hardly ever got refused when knocking on a door. But, and I think this was helpful, I never asked to look right then and there...I'd ask to set up a convenient time...I think this let them think it over and get a sense of me as a person, etc even if it was only for 2-3 minutes. Once word got around about the barn series, some folks even called me to come and visit. I still get calls.

Are you a member of the Guild? If so, maybe you could tell folks that you are comparing these old buildings or doing a regional analysis. Not sponsored by the Guild, per se, but being a member may be all the legitimacy you need to get a look-see. If your area is like Maine towns, word will spread and you'll get to be known as the "barn guy," which can help. Plus, after you've been in a couple places, you can say "I was at the Jewett place last week and wonder if your barn has the same type of hay track...?" I've found some barn owners approached w/ this question kind of want to know this type of stuff that they never even thought of about before. Find a way to get THEM interested, so it's not just about them doing YOU a favor.

But aren't you looking for barn plans? Perhaps you could say you want to compare interior layouts because you want to build a barn? That's a great opening line.

Is there a local historical society you can approach? Tell them your interest and if there are barns you might look at. They can break the ice and act as a mediator for those first few barns.

Of course always be absolutely honest.

And what the heck, maybe your local paper might want to run one of your pictures of a noteworthy barn each week? All you need is a little caption to go with it, not necessarily a full-blown story.



Interested to hear how some others get access to these buildings.



Don Perkins
Member, TFG


to know the trees...


Re: How to get permission to look at Timber frame barn [Re: ] #20349 06/15/09 10:15 AM
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TIMBEAL Offline
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I go through spurts of barn knocking, I haven't been in a new one for a few months, I have my eyes on a few, waiting for signs of people in the yard, activity. Then I stop and explain my curiosity and why, inputting a genuine desire of interest. This is always a winner, I have never been turned away, I must say I am a life long local and most folks know me or my family as well, but I have also had success out of town.

Most of the info I gain is stored in my head, I should put more on paper, my photos are a smorgasbord.

Tim


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